News

Meet the First 2018 Candidate to Run on a Federal Jobs Guarantee

01/12/18
 – 
David Dayen, The Nation

Winfield’s slogan for his campaign is “Guaranteed Jobs, Fair Wages.” He appears to be the first candidate in the 2018 cycle to run on a federal jobs guarantee for every able-bodied American adult who wants one. Winfield, a philosophy professor at the University of Georgia for 35 years and the author of The Just Economy, will kick off his campaign the weekend before the Martin Luther King holiday, and that’s no accidental timing. King endorsed “employment for everyone in need of a job” during the civil-rights era, and his widow Coretta Scott King co-founded the National Campaign for Full Employment in 1974.

The district, Georgia’s 10th, is currently represented by Republican Jody Hice. He didn’t have an opponent in 2016, which was true for a shocking number of Republican officeholders in the state. And Trump easily carried the district. But this era of resistance has brought out a new crop of Democrats. Most foreground the need to reverse the president’s destructive policies. Few speak about comprehensive policy frameworks that would truly change America. For this reason, Richard Dien Winfield’s longshot bid is drawing attention from academics and activists who have longed for big ideas.

“A new social bill of rights could help transform the political and economic discussions we’re having in this country,” said Mark Paul, a visiting fellow with the Roosevelt Institute who has co-authored some of the major job-guarantee studies. “Richard Dien Winfield could deliver model legislation, setting a viable path towards achieving full employment and economic security for all.”

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Georgia's Bernie Sanders

05/18/2018
 – 
Canadian Politique (Podcast)

Cameron interviews Richard Dien Winfield, Democratic primary candidate for the GA-10th Congressional District, about his platform & why it's long past time to put government to work for the good of Americans, not just the top 1%.

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Georgia Votes 2018: Alyssa Milano raising money for 10th district Democrat

05/09/18
 – 
Tim Darnell, NBC 11Alive.com

Milano was last involved in an Atlanta congressional race that became the nation's most expensive in history.
Another Georgia congressional race is gaining the attention of Hollywood political activists.

Actress Alyssa Milano is raising money for Democrat Richard Dien Winfield in the 10th district race.

Contributors who fork over $250 receive a signed headshot from Milano, while $1,000 gets them an L.A. dinner with the actress and $2,000 allows them to attend an L.A. sporting event with Milano. In 2017, Milano actively supported Democrat Jon Ossoff in Atlanta’s 6th district special election in what became the nation’s most expensive congressional campaign in history. Ossoff was eventually defeated by Republican Karen Handel, who is again facing Democratic opposition in her re-election bid.

Also raising money for Winfield are writer and civil rights activist Shaun King and actor Bradley Whitford, who appeared on NBC’s “The West Wing.”

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The War on Medicaid Moves to Michigan [Discussion on Guaranteed Jobs]

04/27/18
 – 
Rebecca Vallas, Off-Kilter (Podcast)

In the last few weeks the idea of a federal job guarantee—a policy from the heyday of Dr. King’s Poor People’s campaign—has found its way into the platforms for potential 2020 presidential candidates like Senators Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker, and Bernie Sanders. This level of national attention comes as candidates in races across the country are also viewing a job guarantee as a winning political platform. Rebecca talks with the first candidate for Congress to run on a job guarantee: Richard Dien Winfield—a professor of philosophy at the University of Georgia in Athens running as a democrat in Georgia’s 10th, a deep red rural district, that Trump carried handily—about why he thinks a platform this unapologetically progressive can deliver a win in Trump country.

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Philosophy professor at UGA makes Congressional run: Winfield ready to mix academia with politics

04/24/18
 – 
Jon Gosa, Albany Herald

With an audacious platform of federally guaranteed jobs, a minimum living wage of $20 per hour and a proposed super-Medicare program providing health care for all, University of Georgia professor of philosophy Richard Dien Winfield has announced his decision to make a run for Congress in Georgia’s 10th Congressional District.

“I decided to throw my hat in the ring and run for an office in Congress after the 2016 election of Trump,” Winfield, who has been teaching philosophy at UGA for 35 years, said. “I felt our nation was entering a kind of political crisis where our democratic freedoms were in jeopardy, but the reason for all of that had much deeper grounds than simply what happened in that election. As a nation, we have failed to recognize and enforce the social rights we need to be able to exercise our democratic freedoms and take care of our family welfare.”

Winfield said he was inspired by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s 1944 Economic Bill of Rights speech and said everyone has a genuine right to work and to adequate food, clothing and recreation; a right to a decent living; a right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health; a right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment, and a right to a good education.

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Shamelessness is all the Rage [Discussion on Guaranteed Jobs]

04/19/2018
 – 
Pod Save America (Podcast)

Activist Ady Barkan joins Jon and Dan to talk his new project, beaherofund.com, and canvassing in GA-10 with Richard Dien Winfield:

Ady Barkan: Yesterday I had one of the most amazing political experiences of my life. I went down to the Georgia [10th] District and it's rural Georgia, where Richard Dien Winfield is running on a robust agenda including a Federal Job Guarantee, a high minimum wage tied to productivity, free child care and elder care and we went door to door in a white trailer park in rural Georgia and a black public housing complex and I’ve never seen such impressive responses at the doors. And people didn't say wait how are you going to pay for the jobs guarantee, or how are you going to convince republicans to support it. They just liked the idea that everyone who wants to work should get to work and that minimum wage should allow people to support and raise a family with dignity. And as you may know, senator Gillibrand in New York has recently come out for a jobs guarantee. So my question to you guys is, what do you think about it and how do you think we could build political support for it over the next couple of years, so that if we in fact have landslides in 2018 and 2020, we might even be able to enact it in 2021.

...so I just want to highlight that Richard Dien Winfield is a brilliant professor running on this agenda, he’s a white man who’s putting race and racial inequality at the center of his agenda. I saw him work the doors, I saw him in meetings and he talks about this in all the right ways...I think if we can mobilize behind him and help get him to win the primary, then we are going to see an amazing experiment in November. Where we have a bold, bold progressive agenda in a red district and we can see maybe in fact what democrats need is not to be republican light in order to win in red rural districts. But to give working class white men and women an agenda that says the Democratic Party is here for you, not just for Wall Street and not just for black and brown people. And it’s not that he’s doing it by eliminating or ignoring race, he’s combining race and class into one comprehensive message...And if he puts this on the agenda and then Gillibrand and Sanders and Warren run on this leading up to 2020 we could be looking at a transformative moment when we have an agenda unlike in ‘09 when we weren’t unified behind more than health care and we can really take advantage of the opportunity. Let me end on an emotional note. It’s now April 2018. By April 2021, three years from now, it’s going to be almost surely impossible for me to be a guest on this podcast. But if I’m still alive and I can watch the democratic party move a guaranteed jobs agenda through congress and to the white house I will die a very happy man. So I’m asking you listeners to be heroes and support this movement for me and for your families.

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Georgia's 10th Congressional District: Democratic candidate Richard Dien Winfield

4/12/18
 – 
Ashlyn Webb

Winfield said President Donald Trump’s election was a factor in his decision to start his campaign.

“I feel we are entering a crisis where our democracy is in jeopardy. It’s in jeopardy partly because none of the parties really addressed major appreciations in our constitution which lays out political and civil rights which gives our household and social rights,” Winfield said.

If you could say anything to your community, what would it be?

“You have a historic opportunity that you haven’t had before. There hasn’t been a candidate that has offered this bold, social rights agenda that guarantees jobs like I’m pushing for,” Winfield said. “We can be pioneers here in the tenth district that could grab the attention of the nation and change the direction of our political discourse.”

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Hundreds of Athenians March for Their Lives

3/28/18
 – 
Dan Jackson

Richard Winfield, another Democratic congressional candidate, said the demonstration at the Arch was the largest he’s seen in 35 years living in Athens. “It was good to see all the local Democratic candidates who were supporting some kind of sensible gun control—Kelly [Girtz], Deborah Gonzalez and Jonathan Wallace, [state Senate candidate] Dawn Johnson..."

Winfield advanced some specific ideas for gun regulation that met with loud approval from the crowd, including requiring liability insurance for gun owners and ammunition purchasers. “We make car owners purchase insurance, and guns are certainly at least as deadly as automobiles,” he said. He also suggested that Congress pass laws forbidding gun ownership for anyone with a history of mental illness or terrorism, a gun buyback program similar to Australia’s and a complete ban on the possession of private guns in public places.

“I hope this demonstration is not just a repeat of all the other demonstrations in the past. There’s a much greater sense of impatience with legislators’ failure to take action,” Winfield said. “Those failures will have considerable consequence for legislators who continue to accept payment from the NRA.”

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Winfield For the Win

03/18/18
 – 
Jurnee Louder | Odyssey Media Group, Clarke Central High School

From a young age, Winfield understood the need for activism. Growing up in the ‘60s, an era dominated by social movements, Winfield saw the beginnings of revolution, and even joined in. While attending Roslin High School, he wrote controversial editorials for the school newspaper. He worked in Franklin, Louisiana with the Southern Tenant Farmers’ Union.

Winfield announced his intention to run for Congress to his family around Thanksgiving in 2016. “I think they weren’t expecting it. Maybe they were a little skeptical. But, I think they became more and more excited by the idea as time went on,” Winfield said. “They’re giving me tremendous support.”

According to the Hatch Act, state employees cannot run for national or state-level offices. So, as a UGA employee, Winfield went on unpaid leave on Jan. 2.

“For the average employee, if you’re going to run seriously, you need to do it full time, which means you need to take off work. You have no income, no benefits and in most cases, you can’t expect to get your job back,” Winfield said. “I have no salary now. But, I have the one advantage — I’m on unpaid leave, so if I lose, I can go back to my job. I’m not at the point now where I want to stop teaching.”

But, Winfield and his team are dedicated to sticking with the campaign regardless of setbacks or workloads.

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A Bernie-styled progressive challenges uber-conservative Georgia Republican

01/22/18
 – 
Greg Bluestein, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Richard Dien Winfield, a University of Georgia philosophy professor, formally entered the race last week at an event headlined by one-time Senate candidate Jim Barksdale.

In a lengthy statement, Winfield channeled Bernie Sanders with a plan he said would “allow us to participate as equals in our democracy.”

It starts with a federal job guarantee – modeled after New Deal programs - that would employ millions with a mission to build new schools and affordable housing, expand public transit and lay broadband internet lines.
The government would guarantee affordable housing and eliminate utility runoffs, evictions and foreclosures. College tuition would be free and fulltime students would receive stipends. So would child-care and elder-care facilities.

And he’d support a “legal care for all” program – a single-payer health system – to cover personal criminal and civil legal representation to “defend ourselves against sexual harassment, discrimination or corporate abuse.”

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UGA Prof Richard Winfield Might Be America's Most Progressive Congressional Candidate

01/17/18
 – 
Blake Aued, The Flagpole

Winfield sees several benefits to a New Deal-style government jobs program. It will staunch the rise in inequality and eliminate the fear of joblessness, which he blames for the hatred of immigrants and minorities in the Trump era and the rise of ethnic white nationalism both in the U.S. and around the globe. And it would pressure the private sector into raising wages when companies are competing with government for workers, rather than workers competing for jobs. Workers would never again be afraid to leave their jobs, veterans would know a job is waiting for them when their service ends, undocumented immigrants could come out of the shadows, businesses would benefit from increased consumer spending, and poverty would become a thing of the past.

Jim Barksdale, the 2016 U.S. Senate nominee who introduced Winfield, warned the audience of about 100 that he’d be labeled an “impractical idealist.” So were Martin Luther King Jr. and Jesus, Barksdale said. “My message for you, Richard, and everyone here is don’t believe it,” he said.

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UGA philosophy professor launches congressional campaign

01/14/18
 – 
Erin Schilling, The Red & Black

United States Senate candidate Jim Barksdale spoke before Winfield, showing support for Winfield’s campaign and his focus on guaranteed federal jobs.

“We have to do the work to turn this country around and have it established on the practical, realistic view that people need jobs so they can support their families and achieve their life’s objectives because that’s what this country’s about,” Barksdale said.

Nnenne Onyioha-Clayton emceed the event and Athens businessman Charles Knox introduced Winfield to the podium. “Let me tell you about the man, the father, the husband,” Knox said. “A man who does not judge people by the color of their skin but only by the character they display.”

“One of my political science professors invited us to a town hall for extra credit and that’s when I first saw him,” Daniel said. “When he discussed his platform, I immediately walked up after and said, ‘when can I volunteer?’”

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